Your postal code can predict severity of quake damage

Your postal code can predict severity of quake damage

VANCOUVER (NEWS1130) – It’s coming at precisely 10:16 this morning — are you ready?

This morning, schools, businesses and governments across the province “dropped, covered, and held on” during the Great BC Shakeout. News1130 took part in the the largest earthquake drill in BC history.

Each year, about 4,000 earthquakes are recorded in Canada, many of them in the seismically active region around BC. Most are small, but at least nine earthquakes in or near Canada have registered a magnitude of seven or higher in the past century.

How a major quake will affect your home, school or place of work depends not only the magnitude and epicentre, but also your postal code.

In 2004, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction (ICLR) released an actuarial map, ranking seismic risk across Canada by postal code and found 13 fell into their “extreme” rating in southwestern BC.“The ratings go from ‘very low’ to ‘extreme’ and the extreme rating is mostly in the Vancouver and Victoria areas,” says ICLR Managing Director Glenn McGillivary.

“The biggest, most damaging quakes are possible in those areas. Historically, they’ve had some very large quakes and we know the potential there is very high for a very large, damaging quake of several tens of billions of dollars in damage,” he tells News1130.

Thirteen postal codes fall into the ICLR’s “extreme” rating, including V7B, the code for Vancouver international Airport. The rest are within Richmond, Delta and Victoria.

The “very high” risk category includes V4L in Delta and V4R in Maple Ridge. V2S and V2T in Abbotsford are ranked “high,” as is V7P in North Vancouver.


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